Okay. We’ve had two episodes of relatively mild action, giving us a chance to reset ourselves after the intensity of the Rick’s failed plan. Clearly it’s time to get right back into the swing of things, with a high-action episode, filled with gruesome walkers and narrow escapes (and maybe a few narrow non-escapes, as well). Heck, let’s throw the Wolves back into the mix, reveal Negan, and let’s make it an absolutely amazing couple of episodes, leading into the mid-season finale. No? We’re, um, just going to spend ANOTHER breather episode? Look, three slow-paced episodes in a row would be hard to take when binge-watching the season. Three, separated by weeks, while we’re waiting on a huge resolution? That just seems needlessly cruel.
So yes, we have another episode where not a whole lot happens. Morgan’s flashback was good, and really brought a lot to the character. Then we had the Alexandria aftermath, and that felt a little plodding, but there were some story elements carried forward. This week we got to see what happened with Glenn… I’m just kidding. Instead it was Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham. With the amount of actually necessary exposition in the last two episodes, it feels like the show is just playing out the string right now until they get back into the action, but they’ve gone sort of Tolkein-esque with it. We’re getting pages of descriptions about a door, instead of being reminded that there’s an actual plot. I’m not saying this lightly, either. The last two episodes could have been cut together into one piece, and it would have felt like a tighter piece of storytelling. Instead, we spent far too long on each scenario, without really paving a whole lot of new ground. I mean, everyone’s Always Accountable, but this feels more like accounting.
As the episode opens, we get to see our Three Amigos (why didn’t they call themselves that, I wonder?) traveling down the round, until they come upon a settlement. That’s when everything hits the fan, Daryl peels off one direction, and Sasha and Abraham head another, all eventually abandoning their modes of transportation. The firearms used against them tell us that this wasn’t a gathering of Wolves, so is The Walking Dead piling human enemies atop human enemies, all while we still have a giant herd of walkers? If so, that clearly indicates that there’s going to be pretty big bloodbath eventually. After all, they’re going to have to weed things down a bit just for the audiences at home to understand who everyone is. One thing we don’t need help understanding is who did stupid things, so here’s this week’s list.
Just hold on a second. Seriously, hold on. Was that, um, flirting? Seriously? Was that Abraham trying to flirt with Sasha? After all of the crap that he put her through, he basically dropped a “I’d like to get to know you better” on her? And she almost seemed like she was entertaining the idea? Maybe Rosita has been sharing some secrets…
Daryl seems to have forgotten a couple of key elements to survival over the course of the episode. First off, stripping off the leather jacket, while giving a good opportunity to clean the wound and show off the guns, also eliminated one of your best pieces of protection, especially against biters. Secondly, after escaping from the trio of D, Honey, and Tina, he proceeds to drop everything and dig into their bag, looking for his belongings. While it isn’t like his crossbow was hidden, he dug past it to get out the radio, then proceeded to lay down and attempt to communicate to someone. Sure, he ended up getting the bow out in the nick of time, but you’d think a hardened survivalist like Daryl would’ve secured his weapon first, and then reached out to his companions, who may or may not still be alive. Oh, and Daryl? They answered your three questions, but that doesn’t mean they can be trusted. Keep that in mind next time, okay?
Sasha has come a long way since her complete freak-out of last season, where she was setting herself straight on the path to an early death. Now, she’s hit her stride, and is proving to be one of the more level-headed survivors (so, based off of track records, she probably isn’t much longer for the show). She even keeps Abraham from going off like a loose cannon, pointing out how good of a tracker Daryl is. When Abraham spies a lone walker down the street, Sasha stops him, explaining that they don’t want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to their current location, in case their attackers follow them. And what is she doing while warning Abraham off of his plan? Writing, in HUGE letters on a door, the word “Dixon”. Apparently Sasha comes from the “do as I say, not as I’m currently doing in fairly grand fashion” school of thought.
2. D, Honey, and Tina
We don’t know a whole lot about these people, except that only one of them was given an actual name for this episode, and that person didn’t make it out. We also know that, after they take a captive, they apparently feel the need to go into a long drawn-out bit of exposition about how they got to where they are. Maybe it was all an attempt to lower Daryl’s guard, given what happened later, but it felt terribly out of place, especially given how little reason they have to trust anyone who walks on two legs and can put together a longer sentence than “NnnnnnNNNNNNnnNnnnnn”. But their biggest mistake, and one that would’ve cost them everything if Daryl hadn’t had an attack of conscience? Forgetting to keep an eye on their captive. Maybe they just aren’t used to taking people hostage, but neither am I, and even I know that you’ve got to make sure that one person keeps watch.
Abraham honestly has had a rough season, and it all actually started last year when Eugene admitted the truth. The man has been spiraling for a bit, and his death wish has only been getting more pronounced every time we see his fiery mustache of doom take up parts of our screen. He almost went off to clean up “loose ends” a few times, until Sasha stopped him, and he had his weird flirting moment. However, the moment that really stands out? The man, in a t-shirt, climbing onto rickety fencing, to get into a screaming match with a walker impaled there. So much could have gone wrong in that moment, and Abraham would have only had himself to blame for his demise. True, it all worked out, the fence held, the walker fell, and our gang got a fancy new rocket launcher, but the brain cells sacrificed while procuring it will hopefully be missed by more than just the viewers.
That’s it for this week. We’ve only got two more episodes before we take a break. Will Daryl replace his crossbow? Will Abraham figure out a better way to flirt with Sasha? Will we ever learn what exactly happened with Glenn? Only time, and the scripts, will tell.